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Moderation: Which seems to have been the Fault of the Jews of Old, who, by the Law of Retaliation, thought they might_exact any thing; an Eye for an Eye, or a Tooth for a Tooth The other is, of the Anabaptists and Socinians; who fo extol the Law of Charity, as not to allow any place for the Vindication of Injuries; not permitting it either to private Persons, or publick; and so taking from the Magistrate both the Right and the Use of the Civil Sword.

:: THESE I take to be Extreams; and that the Truth lies between them, which I suppose is, That publick Vindication of Injuries is not only lawful, but necessary; so far from being against Charity, that it is a great Instance of it, and required by it: For, without this there would be no living, and Human Society could never stand. But as to private Vindication of Injuries, that which we more especially call Revenge, this I shall readily allow to be utterly unlawful, and so make appear upon these Grounds. First, Because Vengeance is proper to God, and therefore to be committed either to him, or else to those whom he has impowered, who are therefore styled Gods. Secondly, Because Vengeance is an Aą of Judgment, and consequently a publick Act, and therefore not to be exercised by a private Person, who also must not be allowed to be a Judge in his own Cause. Lastly, Because Vengeance cannot belong to them, by whom the Ends of it can



not be obtained : But now, by a private Hand they cannot, as may appear by considering what these Ends are; which I suppose to be chiefly these Three; To amend him that is punished, To better others by his Example, and To procure to the Injured Party, and others, Security for the future. But now pri: vate Revenge reaches none of thele Ends. For, First, It does not amend or reform the Adversary, but rather provokes him farther. Nor, Secondly, does it tend to the bettering of others, but rather corrupts and scandalizes them by an ill Example. Nor, Lastly, does the priVate Avenger procure Safety either to himself or others, but rather Danger to both; and to himself Vexation and Trouble for the present, and Fear for the future, left his Enemy should revenge himself again. Private Revenge therefore is universally to be condemned, as utterly unlawful, and altogether inconsistent with the Duty of Christian Meekness.

AND thus have we stated the Measures of this Vertue, in its more general Cases. But this is a thing that needs to be inforced, as well as explained. Consider therefore, First, That God has expresly forbidden us all undue Anger, and has prescribed the contrary Offices of Charity and Meeknefs. Consider again, that all Injuries befall us by God's special Providence, and may, if we hinder not its Course, turn to our greater Good. Consider again, that God uses an incredible Patience and Long-suffering



toward the worst of Men, and particularly towards our felves ; by the former setting us an Example of Lenity, and by the latter making it very reasonable for us to follow it. Confia der again, that all Vengeance belongs to God, who has said, Vengeance is mine : And that therefore, he that avenges himself, assumes the Part of God; yea, withal, of a Judge, of an Alcuser, of a Witness, and of an Executioner, all at once; against all Sense and Reason, Equity and Justice. This may be considered with reference to God.

Then, again, as to our Neighbour. Consider, that he is nearly related, both to God, and to our felves: To God, as made after his Image ; and to our selves, as cast in the fame Mould with us, and partaking of the fame common Nature.

Consider again, what we would have done by our Neighbour, to our felves; and how reasonable it is that we should do the same to him. Lastly, Consider what we have already done to him; whether we have not been guilty of the fame, or greater Injuries towards him, than those which we fo warmly resent from him.

THEN Lastly, With reference to our felves. Consider, First, how much by our unjust Anger we expose our selves to the just Displeasure of God, who, by his Son, has told us, that Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment, Mat. 5. 22. Consider again, That we may easily, and do


often mif-interpret Men's Minds and Intentions by their outward Demeanour; and think our selves affronted by them, when there is no such thing intended ; and that therefore, even upon this Account, it is very reasonable we should be flow to wrath. Consider again, How much causless and intemperate Anger unfits us for all the Parts of Divine Worship, which can neither be well performed by, nor will be accepted from a Heart flaming with this strange Fire. And therefore, says the Apostle, speaking of Prayer, 1 Tim. 2. Lifting up holy hands

, without wrath; implying, that a Vacancy from Wrath is a necessary Qualification for Prayer. To which purpose it is very considerable, that when King David would have erected a Temple for the publick Worship of God, though a Man otherwise of a sweet and gentle Disposition, and only accidentally, and innocently too, engaged in Circumstances of Anger and Contention ; yet he was refused, and the Work impofed upon one not of a more meek Spirit, but only of a calmer and more serene Life. And if God would not accept an House of Prayer from a Man of a Military Way and Character, much less will he accept those Prayers which proceed from a Soul disturb’d with Anger. Consider again, How it unfits us for the Business of our Calling, how it hinders the free Exercise of our Thoughts, how it prejudices our Health, disturbs the Tranquility of our Minds, renders us odious and uneafie to all about us; in one word, how utterly it unfits us, both for enjoying our selves, and from being delighted in by others. Consider, Lastly, to what mean and sordid Principles within us this Passion owes its Rise; such as Pride, Selflove, vain Curiosity and Suspicion, rash Credulity, Negligence and Inadvertency, Ambition, Luft, Envy, and the like. So that, besides its own proper Illness, 'tis farther to be detefted upon the Scandal of its Parentage.


HAVING thus far discoursed of the Duty of Meekness; First, By Thewing what it is. Secondly, By shewing that it is a Christian Duty. Thirdly, By ftating the general Measures of its Obligation. And Lastly, By proposing fuch Considerations as may recommend ifs Pra{tice. I come now briefly to discourse of its Blessedness; which may also serve as another diftinat Consideration to inforce the Practice of it. Blessed are the meek, says our Saviour, for

, they shall inherit the earth: The only Beatitude which has a Temporal Promise annexed to it; wherein our Lord seems to imitate Moses, who in his Law had also one Commandment with a Temporal Promise. And there seems to be great Resemblance between them : One is, That thy clays may be long in the earth; and the other, I hey fall inherit the earth. Here therefore we are to do two Things: First, We must enquire into the Sense and Meaning of the Beatitude. Secondly, Into the Truth of it. That is, We must First enquire, What is meant by


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